The ECE programs offers five concentrations:
- Early Intervention / Young Children at Risk
- Early Childhood and Diverse Populations
- Piagetian Studies
Research and Scholarship
Courses and experiences are designed for the candidate to become confident and competent in not only reading and applying research, but in designing and implementing studies that guide the field. Complementing the research agenda is an expectation of scholarship (presenting and publishing) contributions to the early childhood field. Faculty mentoring and participation in "emerging scholar communities" help to complement master teachers with research and scholarship skills required at the Ph.D. level.
Candidates are provided opportunities to design, implement, analyze, and evaluate varied pedagogical approaches to early childhood education. As a significant proportion of the Ph.D. program is offered using face-to-face and online asynchronous technology, candidates may have the opportunity to develop skills in using and designing 'distance education' that continues to grow at a faster rate than traditional face-to-face education.
Through close interactions with, and mentoring from the ECE faculty, the ECE doctoral candidate is expected to learn about, develop a service agenda, and provide service through a variety of local, state, national, and international venues.
As multiple faculty have international backgrounds and experiences, opportunities present themselves to research and present with an international focus. Also many faculty have held leadership positions with the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) and the World Organization for Early Childhood Education (OMEP) and use these experiences to provide service and scholarship opportunities.
Collaborative opportunities with the UAB School of Education, Center for Urban Education allows Ph.D. candidates to focus scholarship activities on issues related to "quality education for socially and economically disenfranchised groups residing in urban areas".
ECE 730 - Advanced Developmental Theory 3 hours ECE 731 – Children and Society 3 hours ECE 749 - Advanced Early Childhood Curriculum 3 hours One course from the following: ECE 735, ECE737, ECE 748 or other ECE doctoral classes at discretion of committee. 3 hours Total Credit Hours for Core Courses 12 hours
Concentration Area Courses
Four courses: ECE 750, ECE 751, ECE 752, and ECE 774
12 hours Curriculum
Four courses: ECE 746, ECE 760 and two from ECE 742, ECE 743, ECE 744, or ECE 745
12 hours Early Intervention / Early Childhood Special Education
Four courses from: ECE 738, ECE 740, ECE 748, ECE 760, ECE 792
12 hours Piagetian Studies
Four courses: ECE 742, ECE 743, ECE 744, ECE 745E
12 hours Early Childhood Teacher Leader
Three courses (15 hrs) approved by the ECE doctoral faculty
15 hours Total Credit Hours for Concentration Area Courses 12-15 hours
Research Methodology Courses
EPR 696 – Qualitative Research 3 hours EPR 710 – Multivariate Research 3 hours 6 hours of Qualitative Research courses from the following: EPR 792 or SOC 708, EPR 796 OR 6 hours of quantitative research courses from the following: EPR 695, EPR 792, HB 714, SOC 704, PY 727, BST 640, BST 661, BST 671, SOC 706 6 hours Total Credit Hours for Research Methodology 12 hours
ECE 798 – 3 hours in first 18 hours of study 3 ECE 798 – 3 hours in second 18 hours of study 3 Total Credit Hours for Research Internships 6+ hours
ECE 799 – At least two semesters of dissertation hours 12 + hrs Total Credit Hours for Dissertation 6+ hours
- Completion of the majority of PhD coursework
- Approval of the dissertation proposal by your dissertation committee and approved by the Program Director and the Graduate School Dean
- Successfully passed the written and oral defense
- IRB approval of procedues for dissertation research
- ECE 799 – At least two semesters of dissertation hours with at least one semester of 6 ECE 799 credit hrs 12 + hrs
If a Ph.D. applicant has completed most / all of the following coursework, they may enter the program and start their Ph.D. coursework the first semester. If applicants have not taken courswork similar to the courses listed below, then the applicant can be accepted into the program and is expected to complete the majority of the prerequisite coursework prior to taking doctoral level classes.
- EPR 594 Introduction to Educational Research Design
- EPR 596 Introduction to Qualitative Methods of Educational Research
- EPR 608 Statistical Methods and Research in Education (with EPR 607 lab)
- EPR 609 Statistical Methods and Research in Education: Intermediate
- EEC 610 Curriculum Development in Early Childhood Education
- EEC 300 Child Development in Early Childhood Education
- EEC 672 Piaget & Perspectives or ECE 630 Cognitive Curriculum
- EEC 660 Readings in Teaching and Learning
- Demonstrated Technology Proficiency
Determination of whether the following coursework has been completed will be made by the program coordinator from a review of transcripts and conversation with the applicant.
Graduates from our program are prepared to take positions in a variety of roles. Careers include higher educational/post-secondary settings. Just within the United States, almost one third of all institutes of higher education (IHE) offer some type of early childhood training program. This translates to over 1300 IHE where the largest program within a college of school of education is early childhood education. Graduates also work with policy development at local, state, national, and international levels. Our graduates come from and work in a variety of countries that include Canada, Taiwan, China, Japan, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait.
Early Childhood Faculty
Have Questions? Contact Us.
James Ernest, Ph.D.
By Phone: 205-934-8360
Associate Dean Finalist Presentations
The search committee welcomes faculty and staff from across campus to attend the presentations by the finalist for the Associate Dean position.
Dr. Jeanelle Day
Monday, October 3
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Dr. Katie Kinney
Monday, October 10
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Dr. Courtney Bentley
Tuesday, October 11
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Dr. LaWanda Edwards
Wednesday, October 12
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
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